Seventy-six racers gathered at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC) at noon on Sunday, June 10, 2018, the day of its hundredth anniversary, in an attempt to establish a new world record for the largest jump rope race ever. Currently, the Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC) team is gathering evidence necessary to present the event for inclusion in the Guinness Book of World Records.
"We are delighted with the community’s response to this fun challenge," said Ray Smith, director of marketing and communications for Southwestern Vermont Health Care, SVMC’s parent organization. “Whether we receive the record or not, the race has served its intended purpose: to bring people together in the name of a fun, healthy activity.”
As competitors arrived, each registered and received a bib number and a jump rope. Participants ranged in age from 4 to 74. Once they were organized into groups and were counted, the race began. Participants traveled 0.2 miles or about 350 yards jumping their rope with every stride.
Four winners were identified:
- Female Youth and First Place Overall: Dee Oaks of Bennington, VT
- Male Youth: Lucas Mattison of Bennington, VT
- Female Adult: Christina Betit of Eagle Bridge, NY
- Male Adult: Shawn Salo of Bondville, VT
Winners were mailed an SVHC Centennial Community Day World-Record Jump Rope Race certificate of excellence.
SVHC has been conducting jump-roping events since its first 1-minute Jump Rope Challenge was launched at Bennington’s Mayfest in May 2016. In May 2017, SVHC issued a goal to collect 100,000 jumps from event attendees, local school students, and participants in local fitness programs. It met the 100,000-jump goal in advance of the June 2018 deadline. The jump rope race was a part of the health system’s Centennial Community Day, a free old-fashioned fair for the entire community.
The world-record attempt would not have been possible without generous support from the SVHC Auxiliary. Special thanks go United Counseling Service (UCS) for help with preregistration and to Frank Cody of Love, Cody & Company, CPAs; Cassandra Barbeau, Bennington town clerk; Jim Sullivan, executive director at Bennington County Regional Commission (BCRC); Andrea Salo, physical therapy assistant at Bennington Physical Therapy; Andrea Malinowski and the Training for More team; Yolanda Palmer from UCS, Macy Disney, Kelly Kimball and David Bentley, and Chris Wright.